Smokin’ hot

…is how one must describe Dustin Pedroia after he went 5-5 last night with a double and three(!) homers.

One June 1 he was hitting .254/.331/.445. Just twenty-five days later he is hitting .293/.369/.503/.382wOBA/135wRC+. His average climbed forty points. His OBP climbed sixty points. His slugging climbed fifty points. And during the hot streak, he had eleven multi-hit games.

Before the season and even during the season, many stat heads saw Dustin Pedroia as the best second baseman in baseball not named Chase Utley. BtB ranked him as the 16th best player in baseball going forward over the next five years.

The season started out strong for Pedroia as he crushed home runs and extra base hits, but then May rolled in. Pedroia struggled greatly, and saw his numbers plummet to career lows. Meanwhile, his AL East second base foe and counterpart got off to one of the best starts in all of baseball. Suddenly, Pedroia was no longer a Prince waiting to take the crown from Utley.

Not to brag, but I never gave in to the crowd. I just knew- knew– Pedroia would turn it around. He has been a great defender, but there was no way he would hit like he did in May all season. I don’t have batted splits for certain time frames, otherwise I’d look at it to see if he was just getting unlucky due to SSS, but I would imagine that played some role in his slump.

The most amazing thing about Pedroia’s season is his power. His ISO stands at .211 right now, fifty-five points above his career average .156. In the off-season he vowed to hit more home runs and so far he is following through on that promise. He is on pace to hit the most homers for himself in a season, and his HR/FB% is a career high 11.5% despite hitting fly balls at the same rate he always has. While he will never lead the league in home runs, adding a power element to an offensive game that already includes good contact and on base skills means Dustin Pedroia could become of the best all around hitters and players in baseball, not just second base.

Right now, Pedroia’s WAR stands at 3.2. He has a career high .382 wOBA (.362 park-adjusted though). His defense has been phenomenal again as he sports a 9.2 UZR/150 and +9 DRS. Call me crazy, but I predict he will have the highest WAR among AL second basemen by seasons end and he will continue to be the best second baseman in the AL. Yes, I know.

Just trust me.

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